This year’s event on 13 September was hosted by co-chairs Timothée Chalamet, Billie Eilish, Amanda Gorman, and Naomi Osaka.
The Met Gala 2021 has seen red carpet style come back with a vengeance – from the jaw-dropping Marilyn Monroe-inspired gown worn by Billie Eilish to the dramatic three-in-one Versace look worn by Lil Nas X. While some went full-out for the fundraiser event, others took a more pared-back approach – including the likes of Hailey and Justin Bieber and co-host Timothée Chalamet, who wore a tuxedo paired with sweatpants and Converse for the occasion.
From this year’s theme to the event’s co-hosts, here’s everything you need to know about the 2021 Met Gala.
What is the Met Gala?
Organised and presided over by Anna Wintour since 1995, the Met Gala has become a much-loved annual celebration of fashion. Considered a fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, it has traditionally been timed to mark the opening of its annual fashion exhibition. Year on year, the event raises eight-figure sums; 2019’s edition raised a record $15 million (£12 million).
Who were the hosts for the Met Gala 2021?
This year’s event on 13 September was hosted by co-chairs Timothée Chalamet, Billie Eilish, Amanda Gorman, and Naomi Osaka, and honorary chairs Tom Ford, Adam Mosseri, and Anna Wintour. Due to pandemic guidelines, the celebrity-studded red carpet was a smaller affair than usual with invites stipulating a dress code inspired by American Independence.
What was the Met Gala 2021 theme?
The theme celebrates American designers, as well as cultural, political and social events that have occurred during the pandemic. “The main one was the fact that the American fashion community has been supporting us for 75 years, really since the beginning of the Costume Institute, so I wanted to acknowledge its support, and also to celebrate and reflect upon American fashion,” Andrew Bolton, the curator in charge of the Costume Institute, told Vogue. And he also felt it needed to be revisited (American Ingenuity in 1998 was the last big exhibition to cover the theme).
“I think that the emphasis on conscious creativity was really consolidated during the pandemic and the social justice movements,” Bolton said. “And I’ve been really impressed by American designers’ responses to the social and political climate, particularly around issues of body inclusivity and gender fluidity, and I’m just finding their work very, very self-reflective. I really do believe that American fashion is undergoing a Renaissance. I think young designers, in particular, are at the vanguard of discussions about diversity and inclusion, as well as sustainability and transparency, much more so than their European counterparts, maybe except the English designers.”
Inspired by Witold Rybczynski’s Home: A Short History of an Idea essay, Bolton will transform the Anna Wintour Costume Center into an imaginary house for In America: A Lexicon of Fashion. Every room will incorporate a particular theme such as joy, rebellion, warmth, nostalgia and more, and be occupied by an ancestor. “So for the porch, which is warmth,” continued Bolton, “the idea would be to have perhaps Bonnie Cashin’s blanket coat that we pair with André Walker’s coat made from Hudson Bay blankets. In the garden, which is joy, the idea is to have a Mainbocher printed floral dress with the Oscar de la Renta dress that Taylor Swift wore to the Grammys.”
When is the Met Gala 2022?
The second part, entitled In America: An Anthology of Fashion, will fall on the first Monday of May in 2022 (2 May). Both shows will run through 5 September 2022.